No one forgets the human heroes that bravely risked their lives in during the 9-11 tragedy. The firefighters, police officers and EMT professionals are honored in a series of plaques, monuments and praise from a grateful nation; however, the animal heroes used during that time are somewhat less remembered. This lack of recognition spans from the fact that, for many of the rescue dogs, their short life spans have already run out. However, for the last remaining rescue dog on the scene during 9-11, she returned to New York City to celebrate her 16th birthday with honors.
Denise Corliss and her four-legged partner Bretagne (pronounced Britney) are members of the Texas Task Force One, one of the most active search and rescue teams in America. While both have seen plenty of action, it was their very first assignment together that proved the most harrowing. After years of training, Bretagne first took to the field in assisting search and rescue crews in Ground Zero recovery effort just a few hours after the towers fell. Bretagne aided rescuers beside 100 other search dogs, but today she remains the last living member of the team.
However, one organization has not forgotten her contribution. BarkPost, a news site and sprout of the monthly BarkBox delivery service that brings toys and treats right to your front door, invited Bretagne to NYC so the golden retriever and her human parents could have a birthday party befitting a hero.
The festivities started as soon as she got off the plane. Tour guides were waiting in the airport with a welcome sign and a limousine outside. She was taken to get settled in at New York's One Hotel overlooking Central Park. Of course, by "settle in," the guides meant "be showered with gifts and nosh on one of the best hamburgers in the city."
Afterwards, Bretagne and the family were taken out in a vintage taxi to see the sights, an action-packed day which culminated in her receiving the doggy equivalent of the key to the city, the bone of the dog park, from the Friends of Hudson River Park.
Bretagne's birthday bash ended with a massive birthday party in the hotel room with gifts and plenty of food for all to enjoy.